Looking for a good pair of fishing pliers can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. With so many features and a broad range of prices, it can be a task to even understand where to start.
Luckily, we’ve pieced together this handy guide that helps you get to grips with the features and uses of fishing pliers - pun intended! We’ve also provided a great background of the best fishing pliers we could find, with pros and cons to help you make a decision.
Ultimately, it’s up to you. Remember to measure your hand size, but aside from that, we have your back!
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Fishing Pliers
- OUR TOP PICK: Booms Fishing H1 Fishing Pliers
- RUNNER-UP: Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: Kraken Bass Fishing Pliers
Comparison of the Best Fishing Pliers
Our Top Pick
|View Latest Price →|
|View Latest Price →|
Best Budget Option
|View Latest Price →|
|View Latest Price →|
What Are Fishing Pliers and What Are They Used For?
As an avid angler, you’ll need fishing pliers. This essential tool is a ‘jack of all trades’ in your fishing kit. All fishers know that pliers are useful for bending hooks and removing them from fish, but pliers are also handy for changing your split rings and cutting braid.
A reliable set of pliers can help you to remove barbs from hooks to prevent you from cutting yourself, also known as ‘crimping the barb’.
Among other things, your set of pliers can be used to grip, open, close, cut, and mold terminal tackle - this can include your split rings, hollow core lead weights, split shots, and so on.
Even the keenest anglers don’t think about how useful their pliers are for cutting bait. Working as a vise grip, pliers can hold bait in place, as well as help you to adjust your rod and reel.
If all this isn’t enough, you should always have the best fishing pliers you can find available, purely as a safety precaution. If you get a hook in your skin, pliers can help to remove it before infection sets in.
Are All Fishing Pliers The Same?
Ranging in price from $20 to over $100, we need to question whether all fishing pliers are of equal quality. Unfortunately not.
While some fishing pliers are low-priced, they are usually lacking in quality or in features. For higher priced fishing pliers, you may find that they include added extras to help you cut braid or hold bait more easily.
You may find that when you splurge out for the more expensive pairs of pliers, they come with a more ergonomic grip, sharper tools, and more added accessories (such as a case).
With lower-priced fishing pliers of this sort, they can be of high quality, yet a little basic. The lower priced models have fewer features and more basic handles. For those who are only amateur anglers, however, this type is a great choice.
However, you may pay a lower price for a pair of fishing pliers with all the gadgets, and feel like you’ve gotten a bargain. Later, you realize that the handles snap on the first go-round.
In short, shelling out a little extra cash can help to secure more reliable and durable fishing pliers, while also scoring you a few added features, such as a lanyard or crimper. On the flip side, cheap pliers with lots of extra features are likely to be of low-quality and produce poor results.
Always check reviews beforehand as previous customers can tell you a lot about the durability and longevity of pliers. Equally, reviews can give great insight into value for money and maintenance requirements of the tool.
Features of Our Favorite Fishing Pliers
The features on a pair of fishing pliers tell you a lot about its usefulness. The more features it has, the more it can do. However, remember your bread and butter - think about what you use it for most and hone-in on those features first. Here are a few things to get you thinking:
Despite pliers being great for gripping, the majority of anglers report mostly using their pliers for cutting line. In this sense, look for a good pair of line cutters embedded in your pliers. This will help you to cut tag ends, leaders, and mainlines.
A decent pair will easily cut through braided line without fraying it and will have no problem with heavy-duty lines or wire. In this sense, you want versatile cutters - it’s a pain to have to carry several pairs of cutters for all the various lines. Pliers with cutters on the top are the easiest to use, but it’s more of a preference.
The grip is more important than most people realize. When we cut back on price, we often compromise on the grip and this can be a problem when we’re working hard out on our boats. As we’ve stated above, pliers are one of the most versatile tools in your fishing kit.
With this in mind, you’ll be using them a whole bunch. A poor grip can lead to bruising on the hand and swollen joints. You may also find yourself experiencing shoulder and neck pains after a long few days of fishing and gripping.
Look for a pair of fishing pliers that have a great grip. Measure your hand and look for the measurements of the pliers. For those with smaller or larger hands, think about this when making your decision.
Also find something with a soft, slim grip that is lightweight. Forget about extra plastic or rubber as this will only harden over time when exposed, making them bulky.
Protection and Storage
A great pair of pliers can really enhance your fishing experience. This means that we need to take care of our pliers to ensure they’re always up to doing the job to their full capacity.
Aside from the maintenance of the pliers themselves, protecting them from damage, dirt, grime, and the elements can help to extend the lifespan of your pliers. In this sense, you want to look for a pair of pliers that come with a case or sheath.
This enables you to store them without leaving them exposed, as well as often providing you with a handy loophole for carrying them on your belt or bag.
Equally, lanyards are an often overlooked commodity which can go a long way toward preserving your fishing pliers. If they shoot overboard or get lost down below, you may find yourself swimming to the rescue.
Unfortunately, good pliers are durable and therefore heavy, so they most often sink. Having a lanyard means you can keep your pliers safely on your person or tie them to something on the boat or kayak.
Review of the Best Fishing Pliers
Want to get to grips with the best fishing pliers on the market? Here’s our handy guide of pros and cons for a few of the models we think would best suit you. Always remember what you’re using them for and pick something suits your fishing style and matches your budget.
Booms Fishing H1 Fishing Pliers
This classically designed set of fishing pliers work to grip when holding objects and crimp split-shot lead. The sharp cutters and split ring opener help to repair lure, while the stainless steel improves durability.
For those in the market for a basic pair of pliers, these pliers have a good lifespan and are easy to use. Bear in mind, that despite them being smaller, they’re made from stainless steel which is heavier than aluminum models.
These smaller pliers are a great basic tool for versatile jobs when angling. For crimping, gripping, and cutting, these pliers are low-cost and very durable for freshwater fishing.
Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers
Made from anti-corrosion aluminum, these pliers are lightweight and durable, with tungsten carbide cutters included. They come with a nylon sheath, a belt loop, and a lanyard. Suitable for cutting, gripping, and crimping, these are an all-around great fishing tool.
Lightweight and durable, these pliers are a great tool for light use. While heavy-duty gripping can cause them to bend out of shape, these pliers do come with a case and lanyard to help protect them. Be careful with dropping these pliers, as the aluminum can dent and scuff up.
Best for the Money:
Kraken Bass Fishing Pliers
What Recent Buyers Report
Customers have actually loved using this product. They reported that the pliers feel comfortable and natural in their hands. It allows them to lock the pliers head with the same hand that’s holding it, which is possible due to the lock situated on the side of the action. Some have even said that cutting a fishing line with it is actually easier compared to other regular ones.
Why it Stands Out to Us
The smart and intelligent design of this plier is what drew us towards it. Moreover, its lanyard has to be one of our favorite features. It allows you to secure it on your belt and not lose it. The size and span of the coiling plastic lanyard are also pretty adequate to keep them safely attached to your belt and give ample range to unhook the fish and take care of lures. Hence, losing these pliers have very low odds.
Who Will Use This Most
First and foremost, people who lose their pliers or are a little careless on the lake should consider this product. Its lanyard allows you to attach it to your belt, keeping it safe. Moreover, this can perform functions of several independent tools, so if you don’t like carrying many tools, then you will particularly love it.
The Kraken Bass Fishing Pliers are one of the best in the market. They are appropriately priced, smartly engineered, reliable, and extremely durable. If you want something strong, you have to seriously consider this.
4. Booms Fishing X1 Aluminum Fishing Pliers
Resistant to corrosion, these pliers are made from aluminum, with steel-coated jaws for more durability. They have a spring-loaded handle, a steel wire lanyard, and nylon holster. Relatively long in length, these pliers measure 7.87cm. If you’re more a gripper than a cutter, or you already have a separate cutter, these pliers are great for long-term use.
A great simple tool, these lightweight pliers come with good quality storage accessories, as well as steel coating to protect the grip. These pliers are designed to be heavy-duty but do suffer from a small line cutter.
5. Zitrades Fishing Pliers
With a futuristic aesthetic, these fishing pliers are made from deluxe aluminum. Engineered for fishing, these have skidproof handles and a more ergonomic shape. These pliers come with both a lanyard and a belt loop holster.
A great design for fishermen, these specially engineered pliers need to be taken care of if used in saltwater. They are durable and lightweight and come with a comfortable grip for easier use. They can be clipped onto your fishing gear to prevent loss, while the sheath protects against the elements and future corrosion.
6. MadBite Aluminum Fishing Pliers
Available in a range of appealing colors, these 7.5-inch grips come with an attached belt loop holster with a spring-release safety line. Lightweight and heavy-duty, these pliers are made from aerospace-grade aluminum.
Featuring a split ring tool and sharp tungsten carbide cutters, this versatile tool has stainless steel components to prevent saltwater corrosion.
Aside from the small amount of bend, these versatile, durable fishing pliers are a great choice. With accessories to protect against loss, these brightly colored pliers are specially designed and come with a 5-year warranty.
The colors are designed not to fade, making them easy to find if thrown overboard, whereas the lanyard and belt loop holster are included to prevent that from ever happening! If you’re looking for pliers for saltwater use, these are for you.
Storage and Rust Management Tips for Fishing Pliers
Storing you pliers correctly is the best form of rust management. However, if you find yourself subject to a little rust on your pliers, never fear. You can use these handy tips to manage rusty pliers and restore them in no time.
- Prepare Your Area - You’ll need a cup (something disposable is best as the chemical used to clean off the rust is not good for drinking.) Fill the cup with a little water and get an old rag. You’ll be using Calcium, Lime, and Rust Stain Remover. Lay down newspaper to protect your surfaces.
- Wear Safety Clothing - Make sure you’re wearing gloves. Goggles can also protect against the aromas that come off the mixture.
- Be Liberal - Use about two fingers of water and then pour in enough of the chemical to cover all the metal on your pliers.
- It’s Quick! - It only takes fifteen minutes to work. Leave them to soak in the solution and remove them after the instructed time.
- Wipe Off the Rust - The dust wipes right off with a rag, like magic.
- Throw Away the Materials - Despite our eco-friendly nature, you must throw away the rag and cup, as the chemicals harmful. Throw away the newspaper and gloves too.
Check out the video below for cleaning and rust management tips to ensure long term use of fishing pliers.
So, it’s pretty clear that pliers are one of the most versatile tools you can have on your boat. Helping with everything from cutting line to gripping bait, and from adjusting your rod to crimping, a good pair of pliers is essential.
Think about durability, but remember to choose a lightweight pair that is comfortable for your hand size. Get yourself a good case or sheath, as protection from rust is the best way to keep your fishing pliers in good working order.